Did you know that there is a connection between nutrition and stress? For those with the condition, food may represent a way to deal with negative emotions or reward-related dopamine production. Scientific evidence shows that people with mental illness tend to eat foods that are high in fat and sugar, in addition to not having enough nutrients. Some food groups, however, are associated with mood swings, emotional well-being and happiness, which can contribute to depression. To better understand the issue, psychiatrist Antônio Geraldo da Silva chose a list of foods that can worsen depression. Follow up!
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Eating high-fat foods can harm people with depression – Image: Istock Getty Images
According to the psychiatrist, highly processed/industrial substances, energy drinks, coffee, alcohol, fast foodhigh sugar, are some foods that, if present in the daily choice, can have a negative impact on depression as they contribute to the emergence or intensity of other symptoms.
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1- Coffee and other beverages containing caffeine
Coffee can increase anxiety in patients suffering from depression – Image: Istock Getty Images
Coffee, in moderate doses, is associated with many benefits for the body and mind. But it can also cause serious side effects if taken in large quantities or when taken by people who are susceptible to its effects, such as those suffering from depression. According to psychiatrists, coffee increases stress and anxiety, reducing the effectiveness of medication, while strengthening the negative effects of stress. Additionally, caffeine consumption was associated with severe depression in a study published in the Korean Journal of Family Medicine. The study analyzed the questionnaires of 234 high school students in Daegu, South Korea, and concluded that caffeine consumption was associated with mild to severe depression and borderline insomnia. This is also true for other caffeine-rich drinks, such as energy drinks.
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It is not recommended to mix alcohol with painkillers – Photo: Istock
Alcohol and drugs should not be combined, as the combination can worsen the symptoms of depression and make the condition more difficult to treat. In addition, it is associated with an increased risk of side effects such as drowsiness. Antônio da Silva also explained that drinking alcohol reduces the absorption of substances useful for health, such as vitamins and minerals, which can worsen the condition of a patient who is in a state of depression.
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Sugar can cause depression and fatigue – Photo: Getty Images
A study conducted by Chinese researchers has shown that people who suffer from depression tend to look for foods with a lot of sugar, as a result of the increase in dopamine and serotonin levels that are produced as a result of eating these foods. However, a sudden drop in glucose level after the effects of food can cause a person to feel lethargic and tired.
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Fast food: full of fats and oils, sugar, salt, preservatives and coloring – Image: Istock Getty Images
According to a psychiatrist, fast food they are foods high in sugar, salt, trans and saturated fat, preservatives, and coloringsthat is, rich in substances that contribute to inflammation, anger and violence.
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5- Highly processed foods
Ultra-active like sausage directly affects neurons – Image: Istock Getty Images
Processed food has a lot of fat, which, according to doctor Antônio da Silva, directly affects the neurons, making a person angry, depressed, with a lack of pleasure and brain dysfunction.
- IN trans fats available in margarine, microwave popcorn, stuffed cookies, frozen chips, industrial ice cream, packaged snacks, instant noodles and fried foods, etc.
- IN full fat they are found in highly processed foods, such as cookies and fast food, beef and pork, sausage, cheese, whole milk, sausage, bacon, butter, yogurts, egg yolks, dates, coconut oil and palm oil, among others. . Little by little, they’re not bad guys. But more than that, they destroy the neurons in the hypothalamus, a part of the brain.
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Remember that there are still unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, called decentwith omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids. These are the most useful for the body, unlike trans and saturated fats, and are found in the most natural, unprocessed foods.
- Sources of monounsaturated fats: olive oil, soybean oil, almonds, avocado, sesame and açaí.
- Sources of high fat: corn and canola oil, flaxseed, walnuts and Brazil nuts, fish such as sardines, fish and salmon.
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Changing eating habits and stress
The Mediterranean diet is ranked by the amount of vegetables – Photo: Freepik
A healthy diet consists of eating a wide variety of foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds. In addition, moderate consumption of healthy foods such as whole grains and nuts, seafood, lean meats and dairy products, and less highly processed foods. For psychiatrists, this healthy diet is effective in reducing the risk of mental illness such as depression, as maintaining adequate nutrition is one of the protective factors against mental illness.
– A healthy and balanced diet, containing all the necessary nutrients, such as sufficient omega 3, dietary fiber, antioxidants (vitamins A and E), vegetables, fruits, vegetables, less sugary foods , fast food, sugary drinks, highly processed grains, etc., benefit mental health, and can lead to increased symptoms of depression. A healthy and nutritious diet helps people improve their condition and gain energy, improving physical and mental health – points out Antônio Geraldo da Silva.
Finally, it is important to note that the change in diet is part of the internal biology. However, this technique alone should not lead to any change in the situation, because the treatment is usually associated with other parts, such as daily exercise, therapy and medication, which the psychiatrist and others led by artisans in the area.
Source: Antonio Geraldo da Silva He is a psychiatrist and president of the Brazilian Association of Psychiatrists (ABP). He studied for his PhD at the University of Porto.